Chinese Food Threatening the Japanese Table: Changing Perceptions of Imported Chinese Food in Japan

Tine Walravens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Stating that imported Chinese food has a negative image in Japan is neither new nor surprising. Conventional explanations of this phenomenon focus on the litany of food scandals associated with imported Chinese food, together with a near-constant wave of scandals in China itself, which have been subject to saturation media coverage in Japan since the turn of the century. However, this chapter argues that the hyperbolic public and media response is disproportionate to the food safety risks associated with the consumption of Chinese food. This chapter starts by assessing two common explanations for the widespread negative perceptions of Chinese food: (1) the development of a consumer awareness in Japan and (2) a heightening risk of consuming Chinese imported foods in the 2000s. The chapter then outlines potential alternative factors, which have also played a key role in the increasingly negative perceptions of Chinese food imports. While there has been an overall increase in the number of reported Chinese food scandals since the 2000s, broader Japanese perceptions of China, the related nature of media coverage of events in China, and the changing nature of Chinese food incidents, among others, are central factors in the development of the perception of a Chinese food threat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeeding Japan : The Cultural and Political Issues of Dependency and Risk
Number of pages34
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Publication date22 Aug 2017
Pages253-286
ISBN (Print)9783319505527
ISBN (Electronic)9783319505534
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese food
  • Food incidents
  • Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW)
  • Food pan
  • Food safety awareness

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